Q&A: How to Future-Proof Your UA Strategy with Mobile Web Advertising

By Ashley Chicola / August 17, 2023

In a 2022 report, eMarketer declared that “mobile web isn’t dead!” and we couldn’t agree more. As the app space becomes more saturated and user acquisition (UA) costs continue to rise, mobile web advertising is projected to grow by 10% in the coming year, reaching nearly $39 billion in ad spend in the US by 2024.

Mobile Web Advertising Q&A

We spoke with George Eames, AVP, Strategy and Growth at Fluent, to better understand how mobile web works, what sets it apart from in-app advertising, and why it’s making a comeback as an alternative UA channel with massive growth potential. Read the Q&A below for insights on why mobile web should be a part of your UA strategy.

What is the difference between mobile web and in-app advertising?

“Mobile web advertising refers to ads that appear on websites specifically optimized for mobile devices. Users can see mobile web ads when accessing the internet via browsers like Chrome or Safari. As the name implies, in-app advertising refers to ads displayed within specific apps on a mobile device.”

What sets mobile web advertising apart from in-app advertising?

“Unlike in-app advertising, which is limited to specific app users, mobile web ads can reach anyone using a mobile browser, regardless of whether they have installed a particular app. It also works across all operating systems, ensuring a seamless user experience optimized for each browser.”

Why should I advertise my app on mobile web?

“Over-saturating in-app audiences with the same ads in the same context typically leads to diminishing returns. Expand your search for new users outside of the duopoly and mobile DSPs to unlock the following opportunities:

Reach incremental audiences

Tap into mobile web inventory to reach users who spend more time on the open web than in-app. For example, while these audiences may not regularly download apps or identify as “gamers,” they may be open to playing games when given the opportunity to discover them. Not all app users look or behave the same way, but promoting your app in a non-app setting can make finding and converting non-gamers into app enthusiasts easier.

Unlock rewarded installs

The Apple App Store cracked down on incentivized installs in 2019, preventing iOS app developers from running rewarded install campaigns. However, because this policy only applies to apps published through the App Store, mobile marketers can still leverage rewarded campaigns via Safari, Chrome, and other web browsers. This can help bridge the gap for iOS developers seeking incremental inventory outside the in-app environment.

Mobile web advertising case study CTA

Leverage more effective ad formats

While they may be popular among advertisers, playable and rewarded video ads are often intrusive to the user. They disrupt gameplay and may contribute to forced clicks or false App Store opens when a user attempts to navigate away. Mobile web formats such as offerwall ads require users to opt in, establishing an explicit value exchange at the outset. Users must complete an action, such as downloading a new app, in order to receive a reward (e.g., additional lives or something tangible like a gift card). This means mobile marketers only connect with high-intent audiences actively seeking offers.”

What are some KPIs you can use to measure success on mobile web?

“Driving app downloads is only the first step toward building a solid user base. With the right tracking, mobile marketers can leverage mobile web advertising to drive deeper funnel engagement. For example, post-install metrics such as in-app purchases and event completions (e.g. playing to a specific level in a game) all contribute to a user’s lifetime value and can help marketers optimize toward their ROAS goals.”

What are your predictions for the future of mobile web advertising?

“Mobile web advertising will continue solidifying its position as an alternative UA channel with impressive reach. And while it’s true that mobile web and in-app advertising each have strengths and weaknesses, they are not mutually exclusive. A balanced approach incorporating both strategies will yield the best results for any comprehensive mobile marketing campaign.”

Click here to tap into Fluent’s exclusive mobile web inventory and drive growth for your app.